While the Federer exit, to South African Kevin Anderson, losing 13-11 in the final set, is what will sadden most viewers and grab what there are of tennis headlines today, Nadal coming from two sets to one down against perennial almost man Juan Martin Del Potro produced perhaps the most unbelievable tennis of the day, and definitely the moment of the tournament.
"I´m glad to play in this level against the No. 1 in the world". I was close to beating him and I couldn't.
"Sorry to Juan Martin, he's an wonderful opponent and player".
The world number one then wasted four set points in the second.
In a match filled with entertaining rallies between two of the biggest hitters in the game, Nadal came from a set down to win 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 4 hours, 48 minutes - the longest match of this year's tournament.
One of those was on a double fault in the tiebreak and the giant Argentine pounced to level the tie.
Next up for the Spaniard is a blockbuster last four showdown with Novak Djokovic.
Del Potro trailed 1-3 but at 5-5 he fired down a swinging ace to reach match point number five and this time Simon cracked, netting a backhand to the relief of the Argetine who roared his approval.
"It was a very emotional match. great quality tennis, especially in the last set there were some awesome points". In some ways he deserves to win as well.
Nadal started strong on serve to power his way into a 3-2 lead during the opening set.
The second seed, eyeing a third Wimbledon title, with his last triumph at SW19 coming eight years ago, struck 66 winners compared to 77 from Del Potro, who fired down 33 aces in a contest that ebbed and flowed throughout.
Del Potro threw everything he could at Nadal in a pulsating match and even conjured the shot of the tournament as he acrobatically dived to his right to hit a fizzing forehand volley that ended a spellbinding 23-shot rally. I tried to resist and maintain focus. The dogfight Nadal feared and Del Potro knew was his only route to the semi-finals had begun in earnest.
"I think I won the best point of the match", the Argentine said with a rueful smile after being beaten by Nadal for the 11th time in 16 meetings.